How to help feed the world with'Blue Foods '
How aquatic foods could help tackle world hunger, and how Australian wildfires spurred phytoplankton growth in the Southern Ocean.In this episode:00:45 The role of aquatic food in tackling hungerAhead of the UN’s Food Systems Summit, Nature journals are publishing research from the Blue Food Assessment, looking at how aquatic foods could help feed the world's population in a healthy, sustainable and equitable way.We speak to Ismahane Elouafi, Chief Scientist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, who tells us about the role of blue foods in future food systems.Immersive feature: Blue FoodsNat...
Source: Nature Podcast - September 15, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
The billion years missing from Earth ’s history
A new theory to explain missing geological time, the end of leaded petrol, and the ancient humans of Arabia.In this episode: 00:29 Unpicking the Great UnconformityFor more than 150 years, geologists have been aware of ‘missing’ layers of rock from the Earth’s geological record. Up to one billion years appear to have been erased in what’s known as the Great Unconformity. Many theories to explain this have been proposed, and now a new one suggests that the Great Unconformity may have in fact been a series of smaller events.BBC Future: The strange race to track down a missing billion years05:23 Th...
Source: Nature Podcast - September 8, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Dead trees play an under-appreciated role in climate change
How insects help release carbon stored in forests, and the upcoming biodiversity summit COP 15.In this episode:00:44 Fungi, insects, dead trees and the carbon cycleAcross the world forests play a huge role in the carbon cycle, removing huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But when those trees die, some of that carbon goes back into the air. A new project studies how fast dead wood breaks down in different conditions, and the important role played by insects.Research Article: Seibold et al.09:37 Research HighlightsMassive stars make bigger planets, and melting ice moves continents.Research Highlight: Why gass...
Source: Nature Podcast - September 1, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Audio long-read: why sports concussions are worse for women
As women’s soccer, rugby and other sports gain in popularity a growing body of evidence suggests that female athletes are at a greater risk of traumatic brain injury than men - what's more they tend to fare worse after a concussion and take longer to recover. Now researchers are racing to get to the bottom of why and ask how treatment might need to change.This is an audio version of our feature: Why sports concussions are worse for women See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. (Source: Nature Podcast)
Source: Nature Podcast - August 25, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod: How Delta is changing the game
Delta has quickly become the dominant COVID variant in many countries across the world, in this episode we ask why. Over the past few weeks, a slew of studies have started to shed more light on how the Delta variant differs from its cousins and even the mechanisms behind its rampant spread. We dig into studies on the epidemiology and molecular biology of Delta to ask some key questions surrounding its transmissibility, lethality and what all this might mean for vaccine roll outs.News: The mutation that helps Delta spread like wildfireNews: COVID vaccines protect against Delta, but their effectiveness wanes N...
Source: Nature Podcast - August 21, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
What ’s the isiZulu for dinosaur? How science neglected African languages
A team is creating bespoke words for scientific terms in African languages, and the sustainability of the electric car boom.00:46 Creating new words for scientific termsMany words that are common to science have never been written in some African languages, or speakers struggle to agree what the right term is. Now a new project aims to change that, by translating 180 research papers into six languages spoken by millions of people across the continent of Africa.11:48 Research HighlightsA rainbow of biodegradable inks derived from brown seaweed, and the enormous centipede that preys on baby birds.Research Highlight: From dra...
Source: Nature Podcast - August 18, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod: COVID boosters amidst global vaccine inequity
Several wealthy nations have announced plans to give third vaccine doses in a bid to help increase the protection of their most vulnerable citizens - but the science is not clear on whether this strategy will be effective or indeed necessary. Meanwhile with limited vaccine supplies - billions around the world still have no access to vaccines at all. In this episode of Coronapod we discuss the science of boosters, the stark reality of vaccine disparity and what this means for the future of the pandemic.News: COVID boosters for wealthy nations spark outrageNews feature: COVID vaccine boosters: the most important qu...
Source: Nature Podcast - August 14, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
The brain cells that help animals navigate in 3D
Researchers uncover how grid cells fire in a 3D space to help bats navigate, and a fabric that switches between being stiff and flexible.In this episode:00:47 Mapping a bat’s navigation neurons in 3DGrid cells are neurons that regularly fire as an animal moves through space, creating a pattern of activity that aids navigation. But much of our understanding of how grid cells work has involved rats moving in a 2D plane. To figure out how the system works in a 3D space, researchers have mapped the brain activity of bats flying freely around a room.Research Article: Ginosar et al.07:44 Research HighlightsHow a ‘tox...
Source: Nature Podcast - August 11, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod: Ivermectin, what the science says
Ivermectin is a cheap, widely available, anti-parasitic drug that has been proposed by many as a possible treatment for COVID-19. Dozens of trials have been started, but results have been far from clear, with inconsistent results further confused by high profile paper retractions. Nonetheless many countries have recommended the use of Ivermectin, despite WHO advice to the contrary.Now a group of researchers have found suspect data in another influential paper which claimed a Ivermectin caused a 90% reduction in fatality. The paper, published at the end of 2020, has since been withdrawn pending investigation. In this episod...
Source: Nature Podcast - August 6, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Flood risk rises as people surge into vulnerable regions
Satellite imaging has shown population increases are 10x higher in flood prone areas than previously thought, and a new way to introduce fairness into a democratic process.In this episode:00:47 Calculating how many people are at risk of floods.Researchers have used satellite imagery to estimate the number of people living in flood-prone regions. They suggest that the percentage of people exposed to floods has increased 10 times more than previously thought, and with climate change that number is only set to climb.Research Article: Tellman et al.News and Views: The fraction of the global population at risk of floods is grow...
Source: Nature Podcast - August 4, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Has the world ’s oldest known animal been discovered?
Researchers debate whether an ancient fossil is the oldest animal yet discovered, and a new way to eavesdrop on glaciers.In this episode:01:04 Early spongeThis week in Nature, a researcher claims to have found a fossil sponge from 890-million-years-ago. If confirmed, this would be more than 300-million-years older than the earliest uncontested animal fossils but not all palaeontologists are convinced.Research Article: Turner10:13 Research HighlightsA caffeine buzz appears to improve bees’ memory, and reconstructing an Iron Age man’s final meal.Research Highlight: A caffeine buzz gives bees flower powerResear...
Source: Nature Podcast - July 28, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Audio long-read: How ancient people fell in love with bread, beer and other carbs
Archaeological evidence shows that ancient people ate carbs, long before domesticated crops.While the idea that early humans subsisted mainly on meat persists, archaeologists are increasingly understanding that ancient people have actually long been in love with carbs, even before the advent of agriculture.This is an audio version of our feature: How ancient people fell in love with bread, beer and other carbs See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. (Source: Nature Podcast)
Source: Nature Podcast - July 26, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod: the latest on COVID and sporting events
Early in 2021 the United Kingdom, along with several other countries, allowed mass gatherings as part of a series of controlled studies aimed at better understanding the role events could play in the pandemic. The goal was to inform policy - however early results have provided limited data on viral transmission. As the Olympic games kick off in Tokyo, we delve into the research, asking what the limitations have been, if more data will become available and whether policy makers are likely to take the findings into account in the future.News: COVID and mass sport events: early studies yield limited insightsNews:&nb...
Source: Nature Podcast - July 24, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
How the US is rebooting gun violence research
Funding for gun violence research in the US returns after a 20-year federal hiatus, and the glass sponges that can manipulate ocean currents.In this episode:00:45 Gun violence research is rebootedFor 20 years there has been no federally-funded research on gun violence in the US. In 2019, $25 million a year was allocated for this work. We speak to some of the researchers that are using these funds, and the questions they are trying to answer about gun violence.News Feature: Gun violence is surging — researchers finally have the money to ask whyPodcast: Stick to the science09:21 Research HighlightsStrategic laziness...
Source: Nature Podcast - July 21, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod: Does England's COVID strategy risk breeding deadly variants?
The UK government has announced that virtually all COVID restrictions will be removed in England on Monday 18th July. This will do away with social distancing requirements, allow businesses to re-open to full capacity and remove legal mask mandates. This decision comes, however, amidst soaring infections rates in the country, driven by the delta variant.Now scientists are questioning the wisdom of this policy and asking whether the combination of high transmission and a partially vaccinated population could provide the perfect breeding ground for vaccine-resistant variants - a possibility which could have devastating globa...
Source: Nature Podcast - July 16, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
How deadly heat waves expose historic racism
Why heat waves disproportionately impact minorities in US cities, and the researcher that critiqued his whole career on Twitter.In this episode:00:45 How heat waves kill unequallyResearchers are beginning to unpick how historic discrimination in city planning is making the recent heat waves in North America more deadly for some than others.News Feature: Racism is magnifying the deadly impact of rising city heat11:59 Research HighlightsA graphene layer can protect paintings from age, and a new and endangered species of ‘fairy lantern’.Research Highlight: A graphene cloak keeps artworks’ colours agelesResea...
Source: Nature Podcast - July 14, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod: Will COVID become a disease of the young?
For much of the pandemic, the greatest burden of disease has been felt by older generations. But now, for the first time, vaccine roll outs are starting to skew the average age of those infections towards the young. This has led many researchers to ask what this might mean for the future of the pandemic. In this episode of Coronapod we discuss what we know and what we don't know about this change in the demographic profile of COVID infections. We ask how this might impact global vaccination efforts, disease transmission and the health and wellbeing of young people.News: Will COVID become a disease of the young?News:&n...
Source: Nature Podcast - July 9, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Food shocks and how to avoid them
Addressing the problem of sudden food scarcity in US cities, and the up-and-coming field of computational social science.In this episode:00:45 Food shocksClimate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and geopolitical crises can cause food shortages. To tackle this issue, Alfonso Mejia and colleagues have modelled how to best mitigate these food shocks in US cities. Alfonso tells us about the new analyses and what steps cities could take in the future.Research Article: Gomez et al.News and Views: How to buffer against an urban food shortage06:07 Research HighlightsA tiny lattice can withstand the impacts of projectiles at twice...
Source: Nature Podcast - July 7, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod: the biomarker that could change COVID vaccines
Since the beginning oft he pandemic, researchers have searched for a biomarker which indicates immune protection from COVID-19 known as a correlate of protection. Now, the team developing the Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have published the first results of their so-called 'breakthrough study' which indicated puts forwards thresholds of neutralising antibodies that they suggest correlate with protection. The hope is that, should these results be confirmed, such biomarkers could speed up the development of new vaccines, and provide better ways to monitor the efficacy of tweaked vaccine aimed at fighting variants...
Source: Nature Podcast - July 2, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
The scientist whose hybrid rice helped feed billions
A historian reflects on the life of Chinese crop scientist Yuan Longping, and the possible influence of geothermal energy production on earthquake aftershocks.In this episode:00:46 Remembering Yuan LongpingYuan Longping, one of China’s most famous scientists, died in May at the age of 90. Known as the ‘father of hybrid rice’, we reflect on his life and the impact of his research, which helped feed billions of people.Obituary: Yuan Longping (1930–2021)09:55 Research HighlightsThe ancient and incredibly well-preserved beetle found in dinosaur poo, and a 5,000 year old, less transmissible strain of pla...
Source: Nature Podcast - June 30, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Audio long-read: How COVID exposed flaws in evidence-based medicine
A deluge of trials has stress-tested the systems that produce evidence.Around the world, researchers have raced to test therapies to treat COVID-19. The speed and urgency of this task has revealed both the weaknesses in the collection and use of research-based evidence, and how well-run trials have helped save lives.This is an audio version of our feature: How COVID broke the evidence pipeline See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. (Source: Nature Podcast)
Source: Nature Podcast - June 28, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod: should you have a COVID vaccine when breastfeeding?
Early vaccine trials did not include pregnant or breastfeeding people which left some people asking whether COVID vaccines are safe and effective for those who are breastfeeding. The latest data suggests that they are and in this episode of Coronapod we dig into the questions scientists have been asking. Could the vaccine make it into breastmilk? Can COVID antibodies be transferred to a breastfeeding child? And if so, how?News Feature: COVID vaccines and breastfeeding: what the data saySubscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every...
Source: Nature Podcast - June 25, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Quantum compass might help birds'see' magnetic fields
Researchers isolate the protein thought to allow birds to sense magnetic fields, and astronomers pinpoint the stars that could view Earth as an exoplanet.In this episode:00:45 Homing in on the molecule that helps birds find their way.How migratory birds sense magnetic fields is a long standing mystery in sensory biology. Now researchers have isolated a molecule, found within the eyes of these birds, which might act as a compass using quantum mechanics.Research paper: Xu et al.07:28 Research HighlightsHow spending time on land boosts the brainpower of amphibious fish, and the neural pathway of sneezing has been revealed....
Source: Nature Podcast - June 23, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
CureVac disappoints in COVID vaccine trial
After a slew of wildly successful vaccine trials, this week marked a more underwhelming result. The third mRNA vaccine to complete phase three trials, developed by CureVac, is just 47% effective at staving off disease according to preliminary data. This is a stark contrast with previous mRNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer BioNtec which returned around twice that efficacy in their trials. In this episode of Coronapod, we ask why the CureVac vaccine has faltered, and what this might mean for the future of the pandemic and mRNA vaccine development.News: CureVac COVID vaccine let-down spotlights mRNA design challengesNe...
Source: Nature Podcast - June 18, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Communities, COVID and credit: the state of science collaborations
The pros and pitfalls of collaboration, with insights from researchers and beyond.This week, Nature has a special issue on collaborations, looking at the benefits to science and society that working together can bring. In this collaboration-themed edition of the podcast, we’re joined by Nature’s David Payne to discuss the issue, and the state of research collaborations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.In this episode:02:49 How are research collaborations changing?To answer the biggest questions, research teams are coming together in larger numbers than ever before. But the scientific enterprise hasn’t...
Source: Nature Podcast - June 16, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod: Counting the cost of long COVID
The global burden of COVID-19 has predominantly been measured using metrics like case numbers, hospitalisations and deaths. But the long term health impacts are more difficult to capture. In this episode of Coronapod we discuss one way that public health experts are trying to get to grips with the problem using metrics such as disability adjusted life years (DALYs) and quality adjusted life years (QALYs).As new data suggests that COVID could leave millions with lasting disability or ill-health, we ask how changing the lens through which we asses the impacts of COVID could change public health policies, the perception of ri...
Source: Nature Podcast - June 11, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Google AI beats humans at designing computer chips
An AI that designs computer chips in hours, and zooming in on DNA’s complex 3D structures.In this episode:00:46 An AI computer microchip designerWorking out where to place the billions of components that a modern computer chip needs can take human designers months and, despite decades of research, has defied automation. This week, however, a team from Google report a new machine learning algorithm that does the job in a fraction of the time, and is already helping design their next generation of AI processors.Research Article: Mirhoseini et al.News and Views: AI system outperforms humans in designing floorplans for m...
Source: Nature Podcast - June 9, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod: Uncertainty and the COVID'lab-leak' theory
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been allegations that SARS-CoV-2 could have originated in a Chinese lab. A phase one WHO investigation concluded that a 'lab-leak' was "extremely unlikely" and yet, the theory has seen a resurgence in recent weeks with several scientists wading into the debate.In this episode of Coronapod, we delve into what scientists have been saying and ask how and why the 'lab-leak' hypothesis has gained so much traction. We ask if the way we communicate complex and nuanced science could be fuelling division, and what the fallout could be for international collaboration on endin...
Source: Nature Podcast - June 4, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
On the origin of numbers
The cross-discipline effort to work our how ancient humans learned to count.In this episode:00:45 Number originsAround the world, archaeologists, linguists and a host of other researchers are trying to answer some big questions – when, and how, did humans learn to count? We speak to some of the scientists at the forefront of this effort.News Feature: How did Neanderthals and other ancient humans learn to count?07:47 Research HighlightsHow sea anemones influence clownfish stripes, and how skin-to-skin contact can improve survival rates for high-risk newborns.Research Highlight: How the clownfish gets its stripesResear...
Source: Nature Podcast - June 2, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
New hope for vaccine against a devastating livestock disease
A vaccine candidate for a neglected tropical disease, and calls to extend the 14-day limit on embryo research.In this episode:00:46 A vaccine candidate for an important livestock diseaseAfrican animal trypanosomiasis is a parasitic disease that kills millions of cattle each year, affecting livelihoods and causing significant economic costs in many sub-Saharan countries. Developing a vaccine against the disease has proved difficult as the parasite has a wealth of tricks to evade the immune system. This week however, a team of researchers have created a vaccine candidate that shows early promise in mice.Research Arti...
Source: Nature Podcast - May 26, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Audio long-read: How harmful are microplastics?
Pervasive plastic specks are of great concern to scientists – but are they really harmful?Wherever they look – from the bottom of oceans to the top of mountains – researchers are uncovering tiny specks of plastic, known as microplastics.Scientists are trying to understand the potential impacts of ingesting these pervasive plastics but early results are ambiguous, as some experiments might not reflect the diversity of microplastics that exist in the real world.This is an audio version of our feature: Microplastics are everywhere — but are they harmful? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt...
Source: Nature Podcast - May 24, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
The'zombie' fires that keep burning under snow-covered forests
Smouldering fires lay dormant before bursting back into flame in spring.In this episode:00:56 The mysterious overwintering forest firesResearchers have shown that fires can smoulder under snow in frozen northern forests before flaring up the following spring. Understanding how these so-called ‘zombie’ fires start and spread is vital in the fight against climate change.Research Article: Scholten et al.07:39 Research HighlightsAesthetic bias means pretty plants receive the most research attention, and ancient tooth gunk reveals the evolution of the mouth microbiome.Research Highlight: Flashy plants draw outsiz...
Source: Nature Podcast - May 19, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod: The variant blamed for India's catastrophic second wave
Over the past few weeks, India has been experiencing a devastating second wave of COVID-19, recording hundreds of thousands of new cases a day.Evidence is growing that a new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus known as B.1.617, first detected in India in October, may be driving this wave.On this week’s Coronapod we talk about the race to learn more about B.1.617, with early results suggesting it may be more transmissible and could cause more severe disease.News: Coronavirus variants are spreading in India — what scientists know so far See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. (Source: Nature Podcast)
Source: Nature Podcast - May 14, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
The brain implant that turns thoughts into text
A new neural interface lets people type with their mind, and a crafting journey into materials science.In this episode:00:45 A brain interface to type out thoughtsResearchers have developed a brain-computer interface that is able to read brain signals from people thinking about handwriting, and translate them into on-screen text. The team hope this technology could be used to help people with paralysis to communicate quicker than before.Research Article: Willett et al.News and Views: Neural interface translates thoughts into typeVideo: The BCI handwriting system in action07:37 Research HighlightsLight-sensitive cells help ...
Source: Nature Podcast - May 12, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod: Waiving vaccine patents and coronavirus genome data disputes
In surprise news this week, the US government announced its support for waiving patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines, in an effort to boost supplies around the world.As fewer than 1% of people living in low-income countries have received COVID-19 vaccines, it is hoped that this move is a major step towards addressing this inequity by allowing manufacturers to legally produce generic versions of vaccines. We discuss the next steps that need to be taken to make this a reality, and why there is opposition to the plan.Also on the podcast, we look at another aspect of coronavirus inequity: the sharing of genomic data. Aroun...
Source: Nature Podcast - May 7, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Oldest African burial site uncovers Stone Age relationship with death
The earliest evidence of deliberate human burial in Africa, and a metal-free rechargeable battery.Listen to our mini-series ‘Stick to the Science’: when science gets political and vote for the show in this year’s Webby Awards.In this episode:00:44 Human burial practices in Stone Age AfricaThe discovery of the burial site of a young child in a Kenyan cave dated to around 78 thousand years ago sheds new light on how Stone Age populations treated their dead.Research Article: Martinón-Torres et al.News and Views: A child’s grave is the earliest known burial site in Africa09:15 Research Highlights...
Source: Nature Podcast - May 5, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod special: The inequality at the heart of the pandemic
For more than a century, public health researchers have demonstrated how poverty and discrimination drive disease and the coronavirus pandemic has only reinforced this.In a Coronapod special, Nature reporter Amy Maxmen takes us with her through eight months of reporting in the San Joaquin valley, a part of rural California where COVID's unequal toll has proven deadly.News: Inequality's deadly tollThis piece was supported by grants from the Pulitzer Center and the MIT Knight Science Journalism fellowship.Subscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and...
Source: Nature Podcast - April 30, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
What fruit flies could teach scientists about brain imaging
Ultra-precise measurements connect brain activity and energy use in individual fruit-fly neurons.Vote for our mini-series ‘Stick to the Science’: when science gets political in this year’s Webby Awards.In this episode:00:45 How brain cells use energyA team of researchers have looked in individual fruit-fly neurons to better understand how energy use and information processing are linked – which may have important implications for future fMRI studies in humans.Research Article: Mann et al.07:04 Research HighlightsA tough but flexible material inspired by lobster underbellies, and research reveals ...
Source: Nature Podcast - April 28, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Audio long-read: How drugmakers can be better prepared for the next pandemic
Despite warnings, and a number of close calls, drugmakers failed to develop and stockpile drugs to fight a viral pandemic. Now, in the wake of SARS-CoV-2, they are pledging not to make the same mistake again.Around the world, researchers are racing to develop drugs to target COVID-19, but also broad-spectrum antivirals that could be used to treat future viral threats.This is an audio version of our feature: The race for antiviral drugs to beat COVID — and the next pandemic See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. (Source: Nature Podcast)
Source: Nature Podcast - April 26, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod: Kids and COVID vaccines
As COVID-19 vaccine roll-outs continue, attentions are turning to one group: children. While research suggests that children rarely develop severe forms of COVID-19, scientists still believe they could play a key role in transmission and a plan needs to be in place for the longer term. But clinical trials in children are more complicated than those in adults as different ethical and practical concerns need to be taken into account.In this episode of Coronapod, we discuss the ongoing clinical trials to test vaccines in young children, and ask what scientists want to know about safety, and how effective these vaccines might ...
Source: Nature Podcast - April 23, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Meet the inflatable, origami-inspired structures
The self-supporting structures that snap into place, and how a ban on fossil-fuel funding could entrench poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.In this episode:00:45 Self-supporting, foldable structuresDrawing inspiration from the art of origami, a team of researchers have demonstrated a way to design self-supporting structures that lock into place after being inflated. The team hope that this technique could be used to create arches and emergency shelters that can be quickly unfolded from flat with minimal input.Research Article: Melancon et al.News and Views: Large-scale origami locks into place under pressureVideo: Origami-in...
Source: Nature Podcast - April 21, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod: could COVID vaccines cause blood clots? Here's what the science says
Reports of rare and unusual blood clots have resulted in several vaccine roll outs being paused while scientists scramble to work out if the vaccines are responsible and if so how.The unusual combination of symptoms, including a low platelet count and clots focussed in the abdomen or brain, seems similar to a rare side effect from treatment with the drug blood thinning drug Heparin - however it is not clear how the vaccines could cause the syndrome.In this episode of Coronapod we discuss the latest theories and ask how scientists are trying to get to the bottom of this important question. Medical regulators maintain that t...
Source: Nature Podcast - April 16, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
The sanitation crisis making rural America ill
The lack of adequate sanitation in parts of the rural US, and physicists reassess muons’ magnetism.In this episode:00:45 How failing sanitation infrastructure is causing a US public health crisisIn the US, huge numbers of people live without access to adequate sanitation. Environmental-health advocate Catherine Coleman Flowers tells us about her new book looking at the roots and consequences of this crisis, focusing on Lowndes County, Alabama, an area inhabited largely by poor Black people, where an estimated 90% of households have failing or inadequate waste-water systems.Book review: Toilets – what will it ta...
Source: Nature Podcast - April 14, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod: A whistle-blower ’s quest to take politics out of coronavirus surveillance
Rick Bright exposed former president Trump's political meddling in the US COVID response. Now he is championing a new privately funded initiative to track viral spread and combat new variants. We discuss the challenges of collecting data on a rapidly spreading virus, from transmission dynamics to genomic surveillance. We also ask why a veteran government scientist like Bright, the ex-director of the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, would take a new path in the private sector.News Q&A: Pandemic whistle-blower: we need a non-political way to track virusesNews: Why US coronavirus t...
Source: Nature Podcast - April 9, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Audio long-read: Rise of the robo-writers
In 2020, the artificial intelligence (AI) GPT-3 wowed the world with its ability to write fluent streams of text. Trained on billions of words from books, articles and websites, GPT-3 was the latest in a series of ‘large language model’ AIs that are used by companies around the world to improve search results, answer questions, or propose computer code.However, these large language model are not without their issues. Their training is based on the statistical relationships between the words and phrases, which can lead to them generating toxic or dangerous outputs.Preventing responses like these is a huge challe...
Source: Nature Podcast - April 6, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod: How to define rare COVID vaccine side effects
From a sore arm to anaphylaxis, a wide range of adverse events have been reported after people have received a COVID-19 vaccine. And yet it is unclear how many of these events are actually caused by the vaccine. In the vast majority of cases, reactions are mild and can be explained by the body's own immune response. But monitoring systems designed to track adverse events are catching much rarer but more serious events. Now scientists need to work out if they are causally liked to the vaccine, or are just statistical anomalies - and that is not an easy task.News: Why is it so hard to investigate the rare side effects o...
Source: Nature Podcast - April 2, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Antimatter cooled with lasers for the first time
Laser-cooled antimatter opens up new physics experiments, and the staggering economic cost of invasive species.In this episode:00:44 Cooling antimatter with a laser focusAntimatter is annihilated whenever it interacts with regular matter, which makes it tough for physicists to investigate. Now though, a team at CERN have developed a way to trap and cool antihydrogen atoms using lasers, allowing them to better study its properties.Research Article: Baker et al.News and Views: Antimatter cooled by laser light09:27 Research HighlightsA dramatic increase in Arctic lightning strikes, and an acrobatic bunny helps researchers ...
Source: Nature Podcast - March 31, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod: the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine - what you need to know
Since the beginning of the pandemic the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been plagued by confusion and controversy. The vaccine has been authorised in over 100 countries, tens of millions of doses have been administered, and it has been demonstrated to be safe and effective. However, over the past few weeks the vaccine has again been in the headlines.In this episode of Coronapod, we discuss all of these controversies and ask how they may the reputation of the vaccine, and what that could mean for roll-outs moving forward.News: Latest results put Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID vaccine back on trackNews: What scientists do and...
Source: Nature Podcast - March 26, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Network of world's most accurate clocks paves way to redefine time
A web of three optical atomic clocks show incredibly accurate measurements of time, and the trailblazing astronomer who found hints of dark matter.In this episode:00:44 Optical clock networkOptical atomic clocks have the potential to reach new levels of accuracy and redefine how scientists measure time. However, this would require a worldwide system of connected clocks. Now researchers have shown that a network of three optical clocks is possible and confirm high levels of accuracy.Research Article: BACON collaborationNews and Views: Atomic clocks compared with astounding accuracy08:55 Research HighlightsThe possible downs...
Source: Nature Podcast - March 24, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts
Coronapod: Why COVID antibody treatments may not be the answer
In the early days of the pandemic, researchers raced to identify the most potent antibodies produced by the immune system in response to SAR-COV-2 infection and produce them in bulk. The resulting ‘monoclonal antibodies’ have since been tested in a variety of settings as treatments for COVID-19.But despite promising clinical trial results and several therapies having already been approved, antibody therapies have not yet played a large role in the fight against COVID-19. In this episode of Coronapod, we ask why.News: COVID antibody treatments show promise for preventing severe diseaseNews: Antibody...
Source: Nature Podcast - March 19, 2021 Category: Science Authors: Springer Nature Limited Source Type: podcasts